E5S12:The Road to Social Innovation: Career Insights from Sahil Patni

Summary & Key Takeways

The road to social innovation is NOT linear. And it shouldn't be. Sahil Patni went from finance to rural development, to founder and now impact investing. And he is doing just fine and making great impact at Unreasonable.

Why You Should Tune In

Sahil Patil's transition from finance consulting to supporting impactful entrepreneurship at Unreasonable Group as Portfolio Manager for the Americas encapsulates a deep commitment to leveraging business for social good. His work involves guiding innovative entrepreneurs, focusing on ventures that offer both financial viability and solutions to pressing global challenges. Patil's rich background, spanning finance, agricultural projects, startups, and consultancy, equips him with a unique lens to support businesses striving for a balance between profitability and positive impact.

Integrating Impact into Careers: Key Takeaways for Social Innovators

  • Valuation vs. Value: Sahil's work highlights the importance of focusing on the broader value and impact of a venture rather than just its financial valuation. For those building careers in social innovation, it's crucial to aim for creating a lasting legacy that transcends mere profit margins.
  • Education for Impact: Leveraging education in sustainable development or similar fields can significantly amplify your capacity for change. Sahil's journey illustrates the benefit of aligning academic endeavors with practical solutions to real-world problems.
  • Patience and Strategic Planning: Transitioning to impact-driven work, as Sahil has shown, can requires planning, financial savvy, and patience as well as a bit of serendipity. This approach is essential for anyone looking to shift their career towards more meaningful, impactful work, emphasizing the need for thorough research and preparedness.
  • Broad Spectrum Expertise and Support: Sahil's ability to offer strategic guidance to entrepreneurs stems from his diverse background. This serves as a reminder that varied experiences can enrich one's ability to contribute to social ventures, underscoring the value of multidisciplinary knowledge in navigating the complexities of impact-driven entrepreneurship.


Sahil works with the Unreasonable Group to support 150+ social impact ventures in the Americas portfolio. His role involves deeply connecting with Unreasonable Fellows and supporting them on various business needs, especially fundraising. He came to Unreasonable from the world of consulting, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurship. He loves building social impact projects from the ground up - including testing ideas, determining fit, gathering stakeholder inputs and executing all of that into operations. Sahil has 8+ years of cumulative experience that includes consulting in the US financial services industry, nonprofit experience in rural Maharashtra (India), starting up a farm-to-fork business in Mumbai, strategic finance with HBCUs in the US, and some independent consulting work.

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